Mindfulness (/as capitalist nonsense)

Corpsey

call me big papa
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeand...indfulness-conspiracy-capitalist-spirituality

'All the promises of mindfulness resonate with what the University of Chicago cultural theorist Lauren Berlant calls “cruel optimism”, a defining neoliberal characteristic. It is cruel in that one makes affective investments in what amount to fantasies. We are told that if we practice mindfulness, and get our individual lives in order, we can be happy and secure. It is therefore implied that stable employment, home ownership, social mobility, career success and equality will naturally follow. We are also promised that we can gain self-mastery, controlling our minds and emotions so we can thrive and flourish amid the vagaries of capitalism.'
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
These days I meditate, because it's pleasant and why not. But I reject to my core the notion that it will fix me, not out of stubbornness, inflexibility or pessimism but because I know cruel optimism when I see it, and I see it as the fundamental ruse by which the dictatorial superego gets its claws in us. Mindfulness as a collection of potentially helpful practices is one thing; mindfulness as a moral imperative (with the accompanying remonstration: "you're falling apart again! have you been mindful enough? Be mindful harder!") is an assault on our own reality. It tells us that we are struggling because we have failed to discipline our own minds, because we are indulging our distress, because we have not prayed earnestly enough for magical deliverance. It's injurious bullshit in the guise of healing balm.

What would most settle my anxiety is, roughly, a 4-day work week, rent control, a room of my own, and comprehensive provision of necessary services - childcare, mental health support - for myself and my loved ones.
 

luka

Moderator
Well you have this with anything don't you. How much are my problems my own stupid fault and how much is The System which is oppressing me? Given you can't do fuck all about The System beyond letting it crush you to grey paste you're left with what you can do for yourself and take responsibility for. If you look at Mark Fishers stuff he veers wildly between two poles, the spinozist free yourself from the matrix bit and the capitalist realist it's hopeless we're fucked bit.

Dunno. Sometimes life is too difficult and too unfair and sometimes it's alright, fairly tolerable.
 

catalog

Active member
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeand...indfulness-conspiracy-capitalist-spirituality

'All the promises of mindfulness resonate with what the University of Chicago cultural theorist Lauren Berlant calls “cruel optimism”, a defining neoliberal characteristic. It is cruel in that one makes affective investments in what amount to fantasies. We are told that if we practice mindfulness, and get our individual lives in order, we can be happy and secure. It is therefore implied that stable employment, home ownership, social mobility, career success and equality will naturally follow. We are also promised that we can gain self-mastery, controlling our minds and emotions so we can thrive and flourish amid the vagaries of capitalism.'
this is basically pretty much mark fisher's argument in capitalist realism as well ie that depression medicines and talking therapies like CBT focus the problem as being 'you', and you need to get fixed etc, thereby shifting the blame off 'society'.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
btw I've tried meditation and I think it's a good idea

It is depressing to see it appropriated by the business world though, ditto ayahuasca
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
One reason art is important is that otherwise we let the maths nerds run the show

Mark Zuckerberg vs William Blake
 

luka

Moderator
Everyone I know who's had a real serious crack at meditation for a prolonged period of time (like, at least a year) says its brutally difficult and painful. I really like the idea of it but doing anything, exercise, reading serious books, writing, meditating etc is so hard to get started on and even more difficult to carry on with.

Whereas I kept up a skunk habit for years without ever having to argue myself into it at all. What's it all mean corpsey? Is it worth reading the penguin history of the world and doing 6 press ups or should we just stay in bed and pull the covers over our eyes?
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
It's short term reward vs long term reward

Our culture provides us with so many short term rewards it's no wonder it's nearly impossible for me to read Ulysses when I could watch YouTube for 8 hours instead.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Meditation is sort of like a mental game - but a game as in something that you have to practice all the time in order to not be shit at it, not as in a fun game like Street Fighter 2.

If only the things that are good for us could be as fun as Street Fighter 2.
 

luka

Moderator
Meditation is sort of like a mental game - but a game as in something that you have to practice all the time in order to not be shit at it, not as in a fun game like Street Fighter 2.

If only the things that are good for us could be as fun as Street Fighter 2.
What happens when you get good at it?
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Seems like it would be boring.

I am a capitalist pig insofar as I want meditation to clear the path for me to achieve all the capitalist things I want - money, power, women.

Rather than letting go of all desires and attachments. I just want to be free to pursue those things.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
What happens when you get good at it?
Not that I've ever got good at it but

I PRESUME it's about establishing control over your own mind.

This is the issue with depression (assuming it's not 'the system', which it could be for sure) - you can't control your thoughts, they circle and circle, you're obsessive, you're in thrall to your worst fears.

It's training a muscle in your mind, as far as I can tell.

BUT

From a spiritual point of view it's more about obliterating all these thoughts and realising how insignificant your 'self' is.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
this is why creative practise of some kind is important. It focuses the mind, opens new channels, offers rewards for effort, discipline and thought and a pathway to different modes of thinking.
 
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luka

Moderator
Yeah well luckily that is the one thing I've managed to keep up. Not as assiduously or as piously as I would like but it's there. And there's no doubt in my mind that it has helped me immeasurably.
 

luka

Moderator
But it's like, war on dust,

You've run out of toilet paper you have to go shop now
You have to cut your toenails
You haven't done last nights dishes
There's fucking books and papers everywhere and you need to tidy up
Everything's covered in dust
The windows are so dirty you can't see out of them
There's no food in the house
You haven't called this person you are obligated to call
You mum hasn't seen you in a while
You're ru Ning low on medication
You haven't posted that letter yet


It never fucking ends and YOU KNOW in those rare moments when you are MORE OR LESS on top of this stuff, it's amazing, like you've just had a piss or shit you was busting for... That exhilarating sense of rebirth and total freedom
But it just starts racking up again. Avalanche. Social obligations. Self-care whatever. Do this do that.
 

luka

Moderator
That's what's nice about a good holiday. I've had a few. I would say at least 5 or 6. In a place you Want to be, doing nice things. With no sense of obligation. Wake up, go coffee shop, sit there half an hour, wander off, get a croissant, go to an art gallery. Wander about. Have dinner. Get a bit pissed. Wake up, no hangover, start again.
 
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